This has really gotten out of hand and we (the mass audiences) have no one to blame but everyone else for letting it get as far as it has. So disclaimer…
Zombies are fun. Zombies are scary. Zombies are versatile. Zombies will get worn out eventually. Zombies will never, ever go away as a horror sub-genre. Zombies are especially cool when a new and creative take on the zombie trope is created.
The Returned presents a new and very interesting take on the zombie sub-genre. Basically, zombie-ism is a disease that is transmitted via fluid exchange between a living human and someone with the zombie virus. Yeah that’s not exactly new, but where this film gets interesting is that big pharma has figured out a way to harvest antibodies to the disease. They are given to infected people which keeps them from dying and coming back as flesh eating assholes.
Where the film gets really really interesting is it’s focus on societies reaction to the ‘Returned’ and how people living with the disease go about their day to day. Think about it. If your neighbor was infected with a zombie virus that required daily doses of antiviral medications to keep them from turning into a dangerous flesh eating monster how would you feel?
Would you let your kids go next door and play? Would you trust your neighbor to pick up their monthly medication and take it diligently each day? What if they were forgetful? Or just unorganized?
Well what if the big pharma companies started running out of the antiviral drugs? Queue panic!
The Returned is a very intelligent film that sets out to tell a story about living life with a dangerous and misunderstood disease. Themes of discrimination, class inequality, and prejudice are strong but subtle. They emerge naturally as part of a well written story, never intentionally and never artificially.
Q: Is there blood and guts and zombie madness in this movie?
A: Yes, there is zombie horror in the film, but the truly scary parts of the film come from how regular people react to the world in which they live. Remember, in any zombie apocalypse people are more dangerous than the actual zombies.
Q: Anyone I know in the film?
A: Kris Holden-Ried. He was in the Tudors, Underworld: Awakening, and a bunch of other stuff.
Q: Is it a good movie for the whole family?
A: The movie has a moderately slow pace. It’s engrossing and maintains tension from beginning to end, but anyone who wants lots and lots of action and/or guts might get a little impatient.
Q: Looks like a dark depressing film?
A: It’s dark. The relationships are strong and chemistry strong enough that it balances in places, but the film is grim from beginning to end and there is one scene in a hospital that is really gut wrenching. Happens off screen but it’s powerful nonetheless.
Q: Worth seeing?
A: Yes. The ending is fantastic and completely unexpected.